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2012: It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)*

1st January 2012 | Edenwaith

"I've always felt that death is the greatest invention of life. I'm sure that life evolved without death at first and found that without death, life didn't work very well because it didn't make room for the young. It didn't know how the world was fifty years ago. It didn't know how the world was twenty years ago. It saw it as it is today, without any preconceptions, and dreamed how it could be based on that. We're not satisfied based on the accomplishment of the last thirty years. We're dissatisfied because the current state didn't live up to their ideals. Without death there would be very little progress."

Steve Jobs

The preceding quote came from an interview with Steve Jobs in 1995. Ten years later, Steve Jobs would echo the idea of death in the speech he gave at the 2005 Stanford commencement.

The premise of Edenwaith was to develop useful software, often to fill in a gap in the application ecosystem. The radical shift from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X provided the opportunity for a new breed of application developers to create for this new platform. Apple discarded the previous 17 years of Mac OS development in favor of a UNIX-based OS which would provide the Mac OS foundation for the next 15 to 20 years.

During the early years, the software selection was slim, as established developers scrambled to update their own offerings for Mac OS X. It was during this time that two of Edenwaith's earliest products (EdenMath and EdenGraph) were developed. The calculator provided with the operating system was very simple, and the venerable Graphing Calculator, once a staple third party application on Macs, would not make the transition to Mac OS X for several years. Apple has done an excellent job in not allowing Mac OS to atrophy like it had in the 1990s. Each iteration of the operating system has built upon its predecessor, which filled in many of the gaps and cracks which were visible in the earliest versions of Mac OS X.

Over the past decade at Edenwaith, some ideas have flourished while others have languished. As Mac OS X improved over the years, the need for several of Edenwaith's products came to an end. Rather than let them shrivel on the vine until nothing remains but a dried-out husk, I have decided to retire a number of applications to disrupt the illusion of any life that might be left in these old projects. Some projects will likely not be updated any further, but a couple of projects will see a final update before being put to rest.

  • EdenGraph will be updated to version 1.3 and the source code will be made open.
  • EdenMath will be updated to version 1.2 and the source code will remain open.
  • GUI Tar - The kernel of an idea for GUI Tar began in 2002, even before Untar was started. While this is still a useful application, the number of updates in the past several years has been sporadic. If one needs further archiving needs than what is supplied by Mac OS X, I recommend either The Unarchiver or BetterZip.
  • PIGE will be retired. No further updates are expected at this time.
  • Psychomancer will be updated to version 1.0.7 and then will likely be retired.
  • Untar has already been retired.

2012 will be a time for rebirth, by cleaning out the old to make way for the new. Several years ago the decision was made to focus on a select few applications instead of dividing time and effort amongst a plethora of projects. Our time is finite, so we must decide what do wish to wisely spend our time on, instead of wasting it.

  • 33 RPM - 33 RPM hasn't been updated in at least a year, but there is still plenty of potential. Version 1.1.8 is in the works.
  • EdenList - While the original EdenList for Mac was more of an educational experiment than a serious utility, its iOS companion has proved to be much more useful. However, it may end up meeting a similar fate to that of other Edenwaith products as Apple has continued to improve upon its own offerings. The new Reminders app isn't a direct replacement for what EdenList can do, but it might be just enough to eliminate the need for simple list managers. Still, EdenList for iOS just received a recent update and might see further improvements in 2012.
  • Permanent Eraser - Edenwaith's most mature product, with plenty of new ideas in store for version 2.6, 3.0 and beyond. Unfortunately, there is a snag which could bring a premature end to Permanent Eraser. This particular snag is called the Solid-State Drive (SSD). All evidence I've read about how SSDs write data indicates that the SSD write procedure is different from how traditional mechanical hard drives perform their write operation, where SSDs do not write over the old data in the same location, but write out a new version of the data to a new location on the drive. Still, development will continue as long as the application is useful.

* Apologies to R.E.M.